「昴に願いを」 (Subaru ni Negai wo)
“A Wish for Subaru”
Oh Maho, your innocence is endearing. You go and give your precious thing to Subaru. I would’ve loved to see his reaction if you did.
I did consider the possibility that the girls might lose the game with a close score and get further consideration for gym time, but I really like this heartfelt win much better. Subaru’s underhanded tactic with Hinata wasn’t even that bad, drawing only a single foul. Of course, one could easily cough that up to Takenaka not falling for it, being the star player that he is, and responding with his A-game. (“Innocent charm THIS!“) It still doesn’t change the fact that the boys lost to a girls team that was mostly comprised of beginners, which makes me question exactly how good they really are. Believability went a bit out the window in that regard, since I would image a boys team that won a district tournament would fair better even if they did underestimate them.
It’s no secret that the series is about Tomoka and the others though, so what I did find odd was Subaru’s decision to stop being their coach after helping them win the game. I mean, they did surprise him even more after Tomoka elected to pass to Maho for a buzzer beater to win the game. What the heck happened to “elementary kids are the best”!? The fifty consecutive free throw wager that Miho came up with felt like it was just needlessly testing Tomoka’s resolve too. Subaru knew it was a pretty mean thing to do to her — giving her a false sense of hope that he might still coach them — yet didn’t really do anything to stop her just because he got to stare at her shooting form every day. I realize deep down inside, he wanted to see Tomoka succeed, but I can’t help but see him as a bit of a jerk for not just agreeing to coach them after seeing how hard she was trying. In hindsight, it would’ve been better if he gave her a time limit rather, so she doesn’t keep clinging onto hope.
After many, many, many attempts, Tomoka finally succeeds and Subaru decides to give her the nickname “Shiny Gift”. Obviously he never caught wind of the conversation where Saki questioned if Maho realized what she was saying. I still think the “Shooting Star” idea I had sounds better, but at least they didn’t decide to go with “Shiny Flower” or something. That would be bad. Real bad. On that note, Ro-Kyu-Bu sure likes to play up the lolicon misunderstandings, with both Airi and Tomoka this time around, making me wonder if the author is trying to depict how things can develop innocently. Whatever the case, I just laugh at most of the scenarios instead of reading too much into them, which Subaru usually sets himself up for anyway. I do feel bad for Aoi, since she’s trying to get under Subaru’s radar and losing out to Tomoka. If only she were to join the high school basketball team like Subaru suggested. He clearly has a thing for sporty girls.
Production-wise, it was nice to see things rebound a fair bit this episode, both in the characters’ faces and the overall animation. The drama also felt close to episode two and things ended somewhat befittingly with the girls going full-out offense with school swimsuits and maid aprons at the end. Now that’s what you call a trap. The kind that lands you in prison!